Denim is the cornerstone of a man's wardrobe. Aside from jeans, anything made in this hard wearing fabric was pretty much the definition of passé until very recently. A trend that's been all the rage this season and is moving its way into fall as well.
From light to dark washes, trim to oversize fits, 1990s distressed to sophisticated selvedge, and shirts as well; denim isn’t just a byword for jeans this season – read on for a full breakdown of the trend and the key pieces you should be looking to introduce to your wardrobe this coming season.
A) The Denim
Traditional, mid-weight denim with no stretch is your best bet. It's classic, masculine, and holds a nice shape. Heavier loom-state selvedge denim is fine if that's what you like, but don't play up the dated urban woodsman look by turning up the cuffs to show that red seam. This time, keep that to yourself. Try thin, stretchy denim at your own risk, and don't say we didn't warn you when it feels insubstantial.
B) The Rise
Fashion-forward men today are demanding a slightly higher rise that gives a nice secure fit around the waist with plenty of depth to tuck in a shirt and a bit of extra room in the crotch. At the shop, simply ask for a medium rise.
C) The Length
The cropped jean is fading away and the proper contemporary fit demands a bit of length that creates a small break, or, if you prefer, just grazes the top of your shoes. Rolling or cuffing your jeans looks a bit dated at this point, so if they're too long, simply take them to the tailor to get the perfect length.
D) The Leg
A slightly wider, straight leg is the optimal cut today. It should be tailored, but it should not be tight. You'll know your jeans fit properly when you can grab and inch or two of extra fabric around the thigh when you stand up. The bottom opening should be as wide (or almost as wide) as the thigh of pants. No extreme tapering here and no boot-cuts.
E) The Wash
Dark, unwashed denim will always look cool and give you years of wear, so if you're unsure of what you want, stick to that. Still, you should be aware that '90s-style light washes are all the rage amongst the cool kids. Evaluate your tastes and choose accordingly.
While traditional tailoring and luxe leisurewear are two dominant forces in menswear currently, designers are gradually making room for fabrics that don’t sit firmly on the suiting or sportswear end of the spectrum.